I urge you this afternoon (and every Friday afternoon going forward) to take time for a Weekly Strategy Session, where you wrap up the week that's ending and properly plan for the week ahead. Going beyond prioritizing our schedules so we're scheduling our priorities can be extremely powerful. It's amazing what being proactive can do for achieving important objectives!
Work through each item below to properly plan the week ahead:
- Carryover Tasks - Evaluate which of the ending week's tasks were completed, determining what's left undone and to when those undone tasks must be carried forward.
- Client Communications - If there are people with whom you've been meaning to connect, call or email to schedule a convenient time to chat in the following week. Likewise, connect with clients you've done business with previously but haven't heard from in awhile; remind them of how you enjoyed working with the in the past, suggest new ways you can help, share what's new in your organization and pass along articles you feel might be helpful to them.
- New Tasks - Schedule time to complete any tasks moving towards their deadlines, making sure each what that must be done has a when for moving it from "to-do" to "done".
- Time Commitments - Review next week's commitments to ensure you're prepared for related tasks and appointments, making sure there is time for preparation and travel to each.
- Development Options - Determine opportunities for personal and professional growth, scheduling what will move you towards your goals and keep your priorities in focus.
- Strategy - Map out a specific game plan for addressing the upcoming week's task and time commitments, empowering you to start each day with only 3-5 "must do" items.
Especially when you first start implementing the Weekly Strategy Session, set a timer. Knowing you have a certain amount of time in which to complete this checklist will better ensure your planning doesn't run longer than necessary. Plus, shorter times lead to an extra burst of energy to get more done in less time.
No football, basketball or baseball team would go into a game without scouting the opponent and creating a game plan. Similarly, you should never go into a week without properly planning, evaluating what's ahead and determining how you will address all that you must handle. It is with a Weekly Strategy Session that busy professionals can be organized for success.
Share your story... Do you take time at the end of each week to properly plan the week ahead and proactively address your priorities? Alternatively, what issues have you encountered when you haven't been able to plan adequately?